Chinese product search engine eTao, which is run by Alibaba, has revealed the rate of price inflation on China’s top e-commerce sites.
Just as with the nationwide inflation rate  – better known as CPI in China – eTao has analyzed a set collection of goods and then compared how the prices have risen from the end of January to the end of February. It was found that the average rate of price inflation over that month was 1.43 percent, up from an infinitesimally small 0.19 percent hike that occurred between December 2011 to January.
Only one local e-commerce site saw its bundle of goods rise by more than that 1.43 percent baseline – 360Buy, China’s second-largest B2C site, saw its own CPI figure rise by 4 percent. Market leader Tmall saw its price average remain the same, while Amazon China saw its commodity prices fall 1 percent. The biggest drop was on Suning’s (SHE:002024) website, where the bricks-and-mortar retailer aggressively dropped prices by 4 percent as it aims to make a bigger name for itself online.
This report will no doubt enrage execs at 360Buy, who have in the past slammed eTao’s e-commerce inflation stats as slanderous. At the core of the beef between 360Buy and eTao is the fact that the product search engine is owned by Alibaba, which is itself China’s largest e-commerce company – the rival here implying that it’s not entirely impartial. Last year, 360Buy blocked eTao’s web spiders from indexing products on its site.
[Source: Chinabyte - article in Chinese]
China’s actual national rate of inflation stands at 4.5 percent at Januray 2012 (the newest figure available), pushed up by soaring food and real estate costs. ↩
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